Sunderland vs Everton: Match Preview

Sunderland (Possible, 4-4-1-1): Mignolet; Bardsley, O’Shea, Cu├®llar, Rose; Johnson, N’Diaye, Larsson, McClean; Sessegnon; Graham.

Out: Brown, Cattermole (both knee), Fletcher (ankle), Gardner (suspended).
Test: Wickham (unspecified).

Everton (Possible, 4-4-1-1): Howard; Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Mirallas, Gibson, Osman, Pienaar; Fellaini, Anichebe.

Out: Hibbert (match fitness).
Test: Osman (groin).

Referee: Phil Dowd. Matches: 21, R4 Y60.

Team News

Everton will give a fitness test to midfielder Leon Osman ahead of them Premier League trip to Sunderland.

Osman was forced to miss the midweek game at Arsenal with a groin strain, with youngster Ross Barkley impressing in his place, but the problem is not thought too serious.

Manager David Moyes has reported no other fresh injuries while right back Tony Hibbert (calf) is continuing his comeback in the under-21s side.

Midfielder Craig Gardner will be missing once again as Sunderland attempt to dig themselves further out of relegation trouble against Everton.

Gardner will sit out the second part of a two-match ban after reaching 10 bookings for the campaign as the Toffees arrive on Wearside.

Manager Paolo Di Canio is expecting to have similar options to those he enjoyed for last Sunday’s derby victory at Newcastle with striker Connor Wickham still a doubt with a knock, while fellow frontman Steven Fletcher, who had ankle surgery on Monday, and skipper Lee Cattermole (knee) have been ruled out for the remainder of the season.

Match Notes

The 3-0 win over Newcastle has done wonders for Sunderland’s confidence levels but they remain haunted by the spectre of relegation.

This will be manager Paolo Di Canio’s first home game and what better way to mark it than by claiming a victory over the Black CatsÔÇÖ bogey team.

Everton always seem to cause them problem and although David Moyes’ side are the outsiders in the race, they are still chasing a Champions League berth.

Stat of the game: With five games remaining Everton have 56 points, nine more than they had at this stage last season.

by @prolixir.